My Worst Nightmare: Being Unprepared

Last night I had a horrible dream. I’m not sure what spurred this dream, as dreams are pretty enigmatic and you can never know what will cause you to fall into a nightmare..maybe it was something I eat…

There I am sitting at work. It appears to be lunchtime and one of my co-workings that goes to lunch every day asks me if I want to come. I agree and follow her out to her car. It’s bright outside, around 12 or 1pm. I don’t ask where we are going, who else is going or who’s paying and get into my friends car.

We arrive at the restaurant, and there are about ten other people at the table. I realize I have been to the restaurant before and know it is expensive. I still don’t know who’s paying but soon gather I’m probably buying my own lunch.

Once we are all seated, I realize there are no menus. I don’t know anyone at the table except the person that invited me. She didn’t introduce me to anyone. Everyone else at the table seems to know what they plan to order. Someone orders appetizers, and with them, the waiter brings a large paper bag. I start reaching into the bag to find a menu. The bag must have been a trash bag and I pulled out a dirty, greasy appetizer menu but can’t find an entree menu.

The waitstaff is incredibly rude and I am afraid to ask for a menu. Soon our waiter came back to take our orders. It seemed like an eternity and I am incredibly nervous. I didn’t know what I was going to order! I started trying to listen to what everyone else is ordering but I can’t hear them. Then, the lights all go off. No one seems to notice. My company isn’t very friendly either and no one can tell me what I should order.

I continue digging in the brown paper bag until I pull out an entree menu. The lights are all still off, so I try and use my cell phone to give some light to the menu. This menu is also dirty and covered in grease. As my turn comes to order, the waiter rudely asks what I want, and I look at the menu in the dim light from my cell phone only to find there are no prices on the menu! The waiter, and everyone at the table is looking at me. It’s still dark and I can’t see anyone, but I can feel their eyes on me, telling me to hurry up and order. I feel an enormous sense of panic…and that’s when I wake up.

I woke in cold sweat, with my heart pounding. I have never had this dream before, but I can tell you it is one of the worst dreams I have ever had. Apparently my worst nightmare is being unprepared.

In real life, I have already mentally prepared for every situation that came up in this dream. I have excuses to avoid lunches at work on standby, not because I don’t like my co-workers (they are actually quite pleasant and I enjoy when we do get the chance to go to a company sponsored lunch) but because spending money on lunch at work is not in my budget.

If I did find myself at a restaurant with people I didn’t know, I would introduce myself and get to know them. I love meeting new people.

If for some odd reason the restaurant we were eating atΒ  didn’t supply menus, I would talk to the waitstaff and find out what they recommend. I know what menu items are usually pricey and which ones are reasonably priced, at most restaurants. I would probably just order the soup of the day, in a cup. Regardless of what the soup of the day was, soups are very filling and ordering it in a cup would insure that the price was not extravagant. I would make a joke about watching my weight, or having eaten already to avoid and simply enjoy the company of the people I was with.

Lunch aside, am I this prepared for things in my financial life? I would like to think so, but I know there are areas that I am unprepared and this dream has spurred me to look more closely at my finances overall. I never want to feel like I did in this dream when it comes to money. That lunch with my coworker and her mute friends at the restaurant with the rude waiters and greasy, throw away menus will end without long lasting consequences. Being unprepared in a financial situation can have an effect on the rest of my life.

Have you ever had a finance related nightmare?

Image by Akbar Simonse

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10 People have left comments on this post

» [email protected]No Gravatar said: { Sep 29, 2010 - 01:09:17 }

That is indeed a very strange dream. Doesn't sound like it's so much about money as it is about some decisions you need to make and have no clue what to do and friends aren't giving any good advice. πŸ™‚
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» Car CoachNo Gravatar said: { Sep 29, 2010 - 01:09:43 }

I have a similar dream every December (really). I'm on a ski trip i've been waiting for all year and at the top of the mountain and before I can hit the slopes I realize i've forgotten some key piece of equipment (e.g. goggles, a pole, my gloves, etc).
My recent post Buying vs Leasing a Car

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Dreams are so weird. I've heard that food you eat before bed can have an effect on what you dream about, but who knows, I only remember one dream a month if that and this is the one I wake up to? πŸ™‚

» KNS_FinancialNo Gravatar said: { Sep 29, 2010 - 04:09:13 }

I have to admit, I hate when I have weird dreams like that! I know what you mean about being prepared, though. I need to have a plan for everything and I always make lists – it drives my wife crazy, especially when I keep repeating the list over and over again so I don't overlook anything.
My recent post Manage and Tackle Your Debts

» darrenNo Gravatar said: { Sep 29, 2010 - 05:09:39 }

This is so close to an actual event that happened to me. I had just started a new job and I was very nervous when I was asked to go to lunch with all of the people in the department. Upon arriving at the restaurant the waiting staff asked if it would be multiple checks or all together. The boss told them that it would all be on one check which surprised me because I assumed that we would all pay our own. I ordered something from the menu and was careful to make sure that my meal was not the most expensive. I then settled in and tried to talk to people. Then at the end of the meal, the boss says, “Well, I guess it’s time to see who gets to pay.” And everyone reaches in their pocket for a coin. They explain that this is a common practice and everyone flips a coin and the odd one has to pay. And yes, you guessed it on the first flip, I was the odd man and had to pay for lunch for 15 people that I didn’t even know and the bill was over $150.00. So, I guess that was an expensive lesson that I had to learn that when a co-worker asks if I want to go out to lunch, I won’t go unless someone specifically says who is paying or if I feel comfortable paying for everyone.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I've heard of the tradition..just recently actually but it was a sports team going to dinner, and the bill was a tad bit higher…$55,000 dollars!

Anyway, I think that's pretty wrong to leave something like that up to chance. What if you couldn't pay? What is that little game taking away from your family? $150 is a lot and if you can't pay your power bill because of some game your co-workers/boss played, that could ruin the work environment and cause a lot more problems than just lunch..

» @Yakezie said: { Sep 29, 2010 - 09:09:45 }

Dreams are weird. What are you REALLY worried about Jesse!

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I worry about a lot of things…but none of them pertain to lunch πŸ™‚

» Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar said: { Sep 30, 2010 - 11:09:32 }

People take pride in such odd things sometimes πŸ™‚ but I'm glad too, even though thinking about the dream still freaks me out, I'm paying closer attention to everything now.

{ Dec 15, 2010 - 09:12:22 } Fear and Frenzy: How Do They Affect You?

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